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Membership in the Pacific Section of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists has declined 18.8% from its all-time high of 1,362 members in 1956. The rate of decline appears to have leveled off during the year 1959-60. During the 15 years prior to 1956, the Pacific Section grew rapidly from 247 members in 1941. This rate of growth was at least equal to the phenomenal growth rate experienced by national A.A.P.G. The present analysis shows the trends of Pacific Section membership throughout California during the 9-year period 1951-1960. Trends by areas corresponding with those of local geological societies and oil-compnay operations are shown. Statistics used are obtained from membership lists, newsletter mailing lists, and five Pacific Section directories published to date.
By the use of these statistics, it is possible to show that while the number of members has changed, the percentage distribution of Pacific Section members in each of the Los Angeles, San Joaquin Valley, Coastal, and Northern California operational areas over the past 9 years has remained fairly constant, but that members outside of California have increased from 4% to about 15% of the total organization. A study of the percentage distribution of members by organizational affiliation shows that between 40 and 50% of the members worked
for 15 major oil companies over most of this period, while 15 independent oil companies employed an average of 7%. All oil companies together accounted for 75% of the total membership in all areas.
Membership trends in California alone for each year bear a resemblance to exploration activity over the period analyzed. The peak year in California's drilling record for exploratory holes completed and footage drilled corresponds closely with the high point in Pacific Section membership.
Membership figures used in this analysis consist of the total number of active and subscriber members. Only paid members could be counted inasmuch as all available lists include only this group. A check was made against the geographical roster of the national A.A.P.G. March Bulletin for each year to find the relation between national and Pacific Section members.
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